In March, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) caused the suspension of all in-person classes and clinical rotations for nursing stude
It takes a special person to become a nurse. You need a strong stomach, a durable heart, and far more resilience than most. It’s a 24/7 challenge and tests every ounce of your emotional wellbeing, but every RN I know will tell you that’s it worth it a thousand times over. Here are 10 reasons why I love what I do.
1. Endless Possibilities
Many nurses go into the field because of the variety of job possibilities and career paths. Nurses are not confined to one work setting or specialty. Nursing is ideal for those who like to change things up or try new things. While some nurses fall in love with a job or specialty right from the start, others spend their career exploring options until they find their passion. No job in nursing is without purpose or honor. Each and every one is essential to the health and wellness of our society, and even the future.
2. Make an Impact
Did you know that a nurse invented the crash cart? Anita Dorr not only developed the first prototype for the crash cart (then called the crisis cart), she also established the first emergency nurses’ association. Not only do nurses make a difference at the point of care, but they impact healthcare, medicine and the profession of nursing on a global level. Whether it is by teaching, influencing health policy, or research, the future of healthcare is moved forward because of nurses.
3. Many Hats
While nurses no longer wear white caps, they do wear many hats. In a single day, a nurse might be a social worker, a teacher, and a nutritionist, all for one patient. Nurses may have to take on these roles in situations where resources are minimal. The art and science of nursing prepares nurses to provide various types of care under many different circumstances, all with the ultimate goal of maintaining health and wellness of those they serve.
One of the most fascinating things about the field of nursing is the ability to work with and alongside various professions. A nurse may work alongside trauma surgeons or CEOs, scientists or Deans. Interprofessional collaboration results in the best patient outcomes and the best learning and practice environments for nurses. Healthcare and health education are team efforts, and when different disciplines work together, everybody wins.
5. Anytime, Anywhere
Nurses are needed in every country of the world. Whether it be during mission trips to Africa or travel nursing across America, nurses can care for patients in any part of the world. Travel nursing is an alluring option for those who have always wanted to see the world while still making a living. Travel assignments can be short in length or several months long and are available in just about every specialty.
6. Most Trusted Profession
For 17 years in a row, nurses have been ranked the most trusted profession. Time and time again, the public awards nursing for its ethical care and honest professionalism. Being part of a profession that is highly respected is an incredible honor, and one that nurses take to heart. Our mission is to ensure the public that we are trusted resources and advocates who can provide safe, effective care.
7. Never the Same
Any nurse will tell you they have never worked the same day twice. Health can change at any moment; emergencies can arise anywhere at any time. Nurses are the eyes and ears of their organizations and are often the first to respond to situations where someone may need care. Public health emergencies, like disease outbreaks or mass-casualty traumas, are always a risk. Nurses are prepared for these unfortunate events and understand that their role is critical to overcoming them.
8. Use Your Voice
When nurses talk, people listen. The profession of nursing has a significant influence on healthcare, legislation, and even education. Nurses not only recognize and identify problems in the healthcare system, but they are instrumental to developing a solution. Nurses are innovators, problem-solvers, and teachers. Our voices can and will be heard, if only we use them.
9. Lifelong Learning
Every shift or workday is an opportunity for the nurse to learn. Nurses should foster a commitment to lifelong learning and take advantage of the many chances they encounter to learn with, from and about their interprofessional partners. With healthcare rapidly involving, there is always something new to learn. Everything can be a learning opportunity, and nurses can become experts in just about anything. Learning from doctors and pharmacists in the hospital setting can be empowering. Learning from mentors in nursing professional development can be inspiring. Learning from patients can be the most rewarding of all.
10. Changing Lives
Nursing is one of the few professions that witnesses the extreme emotions and acts of humanity, sometimes all of them in one day. People’s best and worst days may include the care of a nurse. Emergencies, life-altering news, births, and end of life might all include a nurse. Being a nurse is humbling beyond measure. While it is incredibly difficult to witness suffering, the ability to provide comfort is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. Sometimes that comfort is just holding a hand or saying a prayer. Sometimes it is deciphering complex medical terms or teaching about basic health habits. As a nurse, you aren’t just changing lives; they are changing yours.